Spiced Gingerbread Cookies
Julianne Jones's wonderfully zingy gingerbread cookies have a tender and cakey texture, yet they're sturdy enough to decorate. As an alternative to the icing here, you can sprinkle the tops of the cookies with demerara sugar (a coarse, raw cane sugar) before baking for a nice crunch.
Gluten-Free Buckwheat Gingerbread Cookies
These soft cookies are based on hermits, a traditional American cookie made with molasses and spices. Baker Mani Niall uses buckwheat flour to add an earthy flavor and hearty texture--and to make them gluten-free.
These marvelous Christmas cookies combine chocolate with spicy gingerbread. "I was tired of basic gingerbread," says Matt Lewis. "And my connection to chocolate is really deep." An added benefit of these cookies: The supple dough is very easy to work with, and the scraps can be rerolled and cut out.
Gingerbread Cookies with Royal Icing
"These cookies are totally a kid thing," says Michael Mina. "When my son Sammy was two, he used to suck on them. Now that he's eight, he helps me decorate them. He's always in the kitchen with me."
Maria Helm Sinskey, who says she comes from a "hard-core gingerbread family," makes her spicy dough with butter instead of shortening and corn syrup so that it tastes fresher than most gingerbreads.